Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Chevy is building an electric drag racing Camaro

Chevy is building an electric drag racing Camaro

Chevy believes the eCOPO capable of quarter-mile times around 9 seconds, though it admits that actual performance testing is ongoing.

Two years ago, Chevrolet used SEMA to reveal the latest COPO Camaro, a factory-built drag racer packing a supercharged LSX-based 350 engine good for 580 hp.

"Chevrolet pioneered the concept of the high-performance crate engine right around the time the original COPO Camaro models were created", says O'Blenes. As a result, Chevy claims the eCOPO Camaro has a 44-56 weight bias that helps it get off the line faster.

The 800-volt pack will enable much, much faster charging times, which is an extremely important feature for the model, since there's limited time between elimination rounds in drag racing.

Somehow, he did it, and the COPO Camaro was born in 1969.

"Eight hundred volts is more than twice the voltage of the battery packs in the production Chevrolet Volt and Bolt EV", Russ O'Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports at General Motors, said of the new battery, "so the eCOPO pushes into new technological territory".

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General Motors unveiled a 700-horsepower drag race-ready Chevrolet Camaro at an event in Las Vegas Monday night.

The big news for electric vehicle fans though is that the concept uses GM's first application of an 800-volt electrical system, which should allow charging in as little as 10 to 15 minutes, though the company did not reveal the capacity of the battery pack. Additionally, the roll cage in the trunk area has been expanded to provide additional protection for the rear-mounted modules.

Chevrolet has turned its flagship muscle auto into a drag racer but has left the V8 on the shelf in favour of an electric motor with an 800-volt battery. The eCOPO Camaro is purely a concept auto. The team also worked with Bothell High School's automotive technology program in Seattle, with multiple students contributing to the development and assembly of the concept. Indeed, the eCOPO Camaro's drivetrain was designed with that in mind.

The motor has the same bell housing mounting pattern and crankshaft flange as the LS family of V8s, meaning any gearbox that fits an LS should fit the eCOPO motor. This means that the powerful electric motor will bolt up to most GM transmissions. As the eCOPO Camaro shows, you can effectively drop in the electric motor as a straight replacement to the gas engine.

"We're not there yet, but it's something we're exploring".

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